James Turle › Tunes

Short Name: James Turle
Full Name: Turle, James, 1802-1882
Birth Year: 1802
Death Year: 1882

TURLE, JAMES (1802–1882), organist and composer, son of James Turle, an amateur 'cello-player, was born at Taunton, Somerset, on 5 March 1802. From July 1810 to December 1813 he was a chorister at Wells Cathedral under Dodd Perkins, the organist. At the age of eleven he came to London, and was articled to John Jeremiah Goss, but he was largely self-taught. He had an excellent voice and frequently sang in public. John Goss [q. v.], his master's nephew, was his fellow student, and thus the future organists of St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey were pupils together. Turle was organist of Christ Church, Surrey (Blackfriars Road), 1819–1829, and of St. James's, Bermondsey, 1829–31. His connection with Westminster Abbey began in 1817, when he was only fifteen. He was at first pupil of and assistant to G. E. Williams, and subsequently deputy to Thomas Greatorex [q. v.], Williams's successor as organist of the abbey. On the death of Greatorex on 18 July 1831, Turle was appointed organist and master of the choristers, an office which he held for a period of fifty-one years. Turle played at several of the great musical festivals, e.g. Birmingham and Norwich, under Mendelssohn and Spohr, but all his interests were centred in Westminster Abbey. His playing at the Handel festival in 1834 attracted special attention. At his own request the dean and chapter relieved him of the active duties of his post on 26 Sept. 1875, when his service in D was sung, and Dr. (now Professor Sir John Frederick) Bridge, the present organist, became permanent deputy-organist. Turle continued to hold the titular appointment till his death, which took place at his house in the Cloisters on 28 June 1882. The dean offered a burial-place within the precincts of the abbey, but he was interred by his own express wish beside his wife in Norwood cemetery. A memorial window, in which are portraits of Turle and his wife, was placed in the north aisle of the abbey by one of his sons, and a memorial tablet has been affixed to the wall of the west cloister. Turle married, in 1823, Mary, daughter of Andrew Honey, of the exchequer office. She died in 1869, leaving nine children. Henry Frederic Turle [q. v.] was his fourth son. His younger brother Robert was for many years organist of Armagh Cathedral.

Turle was an able organist of the old school, which treated the organ as essentially a legato instrument. He favoured full ‘rolling’ chords, which had a remarkable effect on the vast reverberating space of the abbey. He had a large hand, and his ‘peculiar grip’ of the instrument was a noticeable feature of his playing. His accompaniments were largely traditional of all that was best in his distinguished predecessors, and he greatly excelled in his extemporaneous introductions to the anthems. Like Goss, he possessed great facility in reading from a ‘figured bass.’ Of the many choristers who passed through his hands, one of the most distinguished is Mr. Edward Lloyd, the eminent tenor singer.

His compositions include services, anthems, chants, and hymn-tunes. Several glees remain in manuscript. In conjunction with Professor Edward Taylor [q. v.] he edited ‘The People's Music Book’ (1844), and ‘Psalms and Hymns’ (S. P. C. K. 1862). His hymn-tunes were collected by his daughter, Miss S. A. Turle, and published in one volume (1885). One of these, ‘Westminster,’ formerly named ‘Birmingham,’ has become widely known, and is very characteristic of its composer.


Tunes by James Turle (53)sort descendingAsInstancesIncipit
ABBEY (Turle)James Turle (Composer)332436 57117 35437
ST. JOHN'S WESTMINSTERJames Turle (Composer)2417123 44332 5545
ATONEMENT (Bohemian Brethren)J. Turle, 1802-82 (Arranger)111114 32132 17111
BARNBY'S HYMNARY, TUNE 537James Turle (1802-1882) (Composer)215763 56551 11112
BENEDICITE (Turle)James Turle 1802-1882 (Composer)612132 75434 43217
[Blessed be the Lord God of Israel] (Turle)James Turle (Composer)312435 63543
[Chant] (Turle 51234)James Turle, 1802-1882 (Composer)351234 55511 71765
CLOISTERS (Turle)James Turle (1802-1882) (Composer)456171 423
[Chant] (Turle 17653)James Turle, 1802-1882 (Arranger)217653 54217 1
[I lift up my eyes to the hills]James Turle (Composer)712435 63553
ENDSLEIGHJames Turle, 1802-1882 (Arranger)1132112 23117 62171
FESTIVAL (Turle)J. Turle (Composer)255112 24355 54322
ARMAGH (Turle)James Turle (Composer)1853421 16511 63566
[Chant] (Turle 35515)James Turle (1802-1882) (Composer)1535515 11321 76651
[Chant] (Turle 1111117)J. Turle (Composer)211111 171
[Chant] (Turle 77777)J. Turle (Composer)277777 771
[Gloria sea á Tí, Oh Señor]J. Turle (Composer)211111 111
[Chant] (Turle 11113)James Turle (1802-1882) (Composer)311113 67117 54347
[Chant] (Turle 11233)James Turle, 1802-82 (Composer)511233 54221
[Chant] (Turle 55543)James Turle, 1802-82 (Composer)455543 65432 33333
[He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High] (Purcell)J. Turle (Adapter)3
[Chant] (Turle 55671)J. Turle (Composer)255671 36543
[Chant] (Turle 15653)James Turle, 1802-1882 (Composer)915653 43234 46712
IRELANDJames Turle (1802-1882) (Harmonizer)251324 32177 17654
[Chant] (Turle 32167) J. Turle (Composer)632167 11432
LLANDINAMJames Turle, 1802-82 (Composer)235713 56172 1
[Lord, make me to know mine end] (Purcell)James Turle, 1802-1882 (Arranger)234455 66771 12271
[Lord, now lettest thou thy servant] J. Turle (Composer)333321 71234 25443
[Chant] (Turle 56712)James Turle, 1802-82 (Composer)356712 31221
[Chant] (Turle 56172)James Turle (Composer)256172 37217
LOSTWITHIELJames Turle (Composer)555555 55566 6217
MARRIAGE CHORALEJ. Turle (Composer)232313 53144 32233
Chant (Turle 11271)James Turle, 1802-1882 (Composer)1511271 11232 55645
NUNC DIMITTIS (THE SONG OF SIMEON)J. Turle, 1802-1882 (Composer)234326 25545 56714
[Chant] (Elvey 32143)James Turle, 1802-1882 (Composer)132143 21171
[O come, let us sing to God]James Turle, 1802-1882 (Composer)612235 23432 23345
[O Lord, thou hast searched me] (Turle)J. Turle, 1802 - 1882 (Composer)3
BOWENJ. Turle (Adapter)417121 74332 32317
[Chant] (Purcell 11123)J. Turle (Adapter)411123 21723 47117
[Praise ye the Lord] (Turle)J. Turle, 1802 - 1882 (Composer)3
SANDRINGHAM (Turle)James Turle, 1802-1882 (Composer)332143 65511 76657
[Chant] (Purcell 1111123)James Turle, 1802-1882 (Arranger)911111 23217 22234
SICILIAN MARINERSJames Turle (Composer)356543 45654 35567
ST. PETER'S, WESTMINSTERJames Turle (Composer)1111123 43234 55665
[Chant] (Turle 14365)J. Turle (Composer)414365 11321
TUNE 584James Turle, 1802-1882 (Composer)354434 32115 54533
WAREHAM (Knapp)James Turle, 1802-1882 (Harmonizer)411765 12171 23217
[We praise Thee, O God] (Turle)Turle (Composer)353421 65432 1
[Chant] (Turle 34326)J. Turle (Composer)234326 25545 56714
[Chant] (Turle 51233)J. Turle (Composer)251233 33343 21365
WESLEY (Turle)J. Turle (Composer)233346 72113 17217
WESTMINSTER (Turle)James Turle (Composer)6635511 76553 71255
WINCHESTER NEWJ. Turle (Arranger)151566 54334 32554
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